Quotes Suitable for Framing: Niall Ferguson

Wednesday, August 9, AD 2017



Freedom is rarely killed off by people chanting “Down with Freedom!” It is killed off by people claiming that the greater good/the general will/the community/the proletariat requires “examination of the parameters” (or some such cant phrase) of individual liberty. If the criterion for censorship is that nobody’s feelings can be hurt, we are finished as a free society.

Where such arguments lead is just a long-haul flight away.

The regime of Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, in Venezuela, used to be the toast of such darlings of the American Left as Naomi Klein, whose 2007 book “The Shock Doctrine” praised Venezuela as “a zone of relative economic calm” in a world dominated by marauding free market economists. Today (as was eminently foreseeable 10 years back), Venezuela is in a state of economic collapse, its opposition leaders are in jail, and its constitution is about to be rewritten yet again to keep the Chavista dictatorship in power. Another regime where those who speak freely land in jail is Saudi Arabia, a regime lauded by Women’s March leader and sharia law enthusiast Linda Sarsour.

Mark my words, while I can still publish them with impunity: The real tyrants, when they come, will be for diversity (except of opinion) and against hate speech (except their own).

Niall Ferguson, British Historian

Go here to read the rest.


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9 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: Niall Ferguson

  • Some of us might think that whispering, “You can be like God,” in Eden was the most vile hate speech ever…and how nice it was that not one person on Earth had their feelings hurt when it was spoken..

  • Many well-educated people with whom I work say they would rather be identified as liberal progressives against Trump and the uneducated lower white class that voted him into power. They look down on anyone not sharing their paradigm, marginalizing by sophist ridicule those whom they cosider their intellectual inferiors.

    Now I share their frustration over Trump – he knows nothing about the Constitution or how government really works, and other than personal loyalty and personal kindess, he has no principle. Nevertheless, the disrespect shown his supporters – some of whom are actually very well educated – is nothing but outright contempt and disdain. That fuels this whole movement of diversity except in opinion and opposition to hate speech except their own.

    I have had real serious conversations with my co-workers who are anti-Trump. They have a lot of valid points, particularly when it comes to my area of nuclear power, the Department of Energy, etc. I can’t go into all the details here because that’s not relevant to the subject of Donald McClarey’s post. But with all due respect to the President, the man is ignorant when it comes to technical, engineering and scientific fields (of course, what politician isn’t?). And the younger people in my industry pick up on that ignorance and project it onto all his supporters without distinction, unfairly stereotyping everyone disagreeing with them.

    This isn’t going to end well, especially when the people opposite of me politically do have some valid points that I cannot simply ignore out of hand.

    For the record, I voted for Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party in November of 2016. My hands are clean at least in this [ though certainly not in anything else 😉 ] and I proudly state that.

  • His words are chillingly sobering.
    What will it take to preserve freedom from perverse and distorted pagans?

    A civil war?

    The Church Mush isn’t helping.
    Relativism has infected many.
    Truth? What is Truth? Our Lord is hearing this again..but now it’s from his closest friends. His consecrated ones.

    A clandestine holy church in America?
    A possibility.
    A certainty if we let it by doing nothing more than remaining silent.

  • The right to speak is the right to prevail. The disputes over ‘free speech’ are derived ultimately from the self-concept of certain professional-managerial occupations: the educational apparat, the legal profession, the media, the mental-health trade, and now the tech industry. They conceive of themselves as the school administrators while the rest of us are unruly adolescents.

  • I don’t think “freedom” is an absolute good– in part because it can’t be, with free will*, and in part because as Fulton Sheen said, freedom to do what— but I notice the shutting down of free speech is very high cost (damaged communication) for very low return (possibly some people do not feel bad because of what they hear; definitely other people are hurt by being actively told that they are unacceptable without even a trial, and definitely people are hurt by not being able to trust the communications they get, and possibly people are hurt by what they don’t hear.)

    * explaining:
    if you have free will, then two people can want two contradictory things; if they are both absolutely free, then they must both be able to get what they want– which is impossible.

  • The Church isn’t so mushy. Here is Bishop Jose Luis Azuaje Ayala, who spoke recently on the results of the Constituent Assembly election that is intended by the government to impose a new constitution and the general situation:

    “On Sunday, [July] 30 we could see with our eyes the small amount of participation of the people in the elections. In this way a direct, informal, but experiential audit was made. Before six o’clock in the afternoon, which was the official time of the closing of the tables, they sent to speak to one of the observers of the National Electoral Council to announce that there was an immense number of people remaining still in lines to vote, and the vote was extended for another hour. I looked at the school that is close to the diocesan see where there were several polling stations and it looked like a desert. They tried to make people believe that there were voters at that time. There’s nothing more false. It was like the official announcement of fraud…before and during the electoral process for the Constituent Assembly, many people were coerced and threatened to attend to vote…

    “There is large number of murders that, according to the national prosecution, number 121 deaths. Of these, 25 percent have been murdered by state security agencies and 40 percent by groups of armed civilians sympathetic to the regime. There are more than 1,500 wounded, with more than thousands of detainees, in little more than three months, give us a hellish picture that would make any person or institution worried about the lives of citizens at stake…

    “[The economic collapse] is the result of dire governmental policies, of improvisation, of wanting to establish a socialism without humanist support, and in its place generating a permanent conflict plagued by corruption and violence…

    “Whenever this government has been at a disadvantage, it has asked to dialogue, but it is always the same script: dialogue is used to gain time and advance in the hegemonic project of totalitarianism and greater power of domination”

  • MY APOLOGIES! I didn’t see this was posted below! I do think the language is tougher than shown below.

  • “Facts do not care about your feelings”…Ben Shapiro

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The Cure of Ars

Wednesday, August 9, AD 2017



Today is the traditional feast day of Saint John Vianney, the Cure of Ars.  He was born into a world in 1786 where the Church was soon under attack by the first of the totalitarian regimes, Revolutionary France.  His family remained loyal to the Faith, and helped priests on the run from the State.  Young John saw these brave men as heroes as well as priests, and soon wished to join their ranks.  He was hampered by his ill education and the fact that he simply wasn’t a very good student, no matter how hard he tried.  He was ordained more as an act of Christian charity, and a recognition that he had a good heart and would try his best to be a good priest, than because of any success in his studies.

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PopeWatch: Bishop José Luis Azuaje Ayala of Barinas

Wednesday, August 9, AD 2017



Bishop José Luis Azuaje Ayala of Barinas, vice president of the Venezuelan bishops’ conference, speaks on the dire situation in Venezuela:



The representative of the bishops’ conference also addressed the Vatican-facilitated dialogue process that took place in Venezuela between the government and the opposition in 2016.

The bishop denounced the result, which, in his view, was “a feigned dialogue on the part of the government without any result.”

“Whenever this government has been at a disadvantage, it has asked to dialogue; but it is always the same script: dialogue is used to gain time and advance in the hegemonic project of totalitarianism and greater power of domination,” Bishop Azuaje stated.

“The Holy See has always been aware of what is happening in the country. Both Pope Francis and the Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin, are well informed of the country’s problems. They have always been willing to mediate, and we thank them for that. But experiences teach. The failed dialogue from October to December has taught that governments like this should have something more than goodwill,” he said categorically.


He also explained that the Vatican “has reminded the government that to return to the table, they must meet what was agreed in October of last year, and recorded by Cardinal Parolin in the letter addressed to President Maduro on December 1, 2016.”

This agreement states that the government must commit to “setting an electoral calendar, the release of political prisoners, the opening of a humanitarian channel to let food and medicines enter the country, and return power to the National Assembly.”


In the bishop’s view, the real solution involves a “total change of government through general elections,” perhaps beginning with a “possible transitional national government.”

However, he noted that “we can not forget justice” because “there has been a lot of corruption and violence” and “those responsible for this can not be left uninvestigated.”

Regardless of how the political situation in Venezuela ends, however, Catholics must live and react to the crisis facing the country.

“A Catholic in the circumstances in which we live must be a permanent promoter of the common good, solidarity, and justice,” the bishop advised. “It is not a time of adornment, but of going to the essential, to what gives meaning to life.”

“We know that nothing will be easy when working for the good of the community, but Christians have a fundamental belief that the power of the Holy Spirit not only animates us, but enlightens us in walking the narrow way. It offers us challenges, but it gives us its strength, ” Bishop Azuaje said.

“I want to go to the extreme of saying that a Catholic can not bend to exclusionary policies, much less the voracious corruption that exists in the country, nor raise his hand to strike the dignity of anyone,” he added.

“A committed Catholic should demand justice and work for the people with the sole interest of developing processes that lead to greater human development,” the bishop urged.

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Report of Stonewall Jackson on the Battle of Cedar Mountain

Wednesday, August 9, AD 2017



On August 9, 1862, Stonewall Jackson, spearheading General Lee’s offensive against General John Pope’s hastily assembled Army of Virginia.  At Cedar Mountain in Culpepper County Virginia he attack his old Valley adversary General Nathaniel Banks, known affectionately by Confederates as Commissary Banks due to the fact that forces under his command usually were whipped and Confederates then feasted on the captured supplies of his defeated forces.  Banks commanded 8,000 men and Jackson had 16,000.  Banks and his men, surprisingly, put up a good fight and Jackson’s victory was hard fought.  Here is Jackson’s report which he submitted on April 4, 1863, paperwork tacking a back seat to all the fighting which occurred between Cedar Mountain and April 4, 1863:

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Google Does Evil

Tuesday, August 8, AD 2017


It is no secret that Google is a smug left wing outfit dedicated to shaping public opinion in a leftist direction.  The latest example is the firing of a worker who had the temerity to point out that Google lacks intellectual diversity.


Google has not publicly named but Bloomberg reported that software engineer James Damore confirmed in an email that he had been let go for “perpetuating gender stereotypes” and was exploring legal action against the company. Internal discussions boards seen by Bloomberg suggest that multiple employees supported the dismissal of the employee and said they would choose not to work with him.


The memo also criticized the company’s diversity programs and questioned whether differing views could be said freely within Google.


“Many points raised in the memo-such as the portions criticizing Google’s trainings, questioning the role of ideology in the workplace, and debating whether programs for women and underserved groups are sufficiently open to all-are important topics,” Pichai wrote. “The author had a right to express their views on those topics-we encourage an environment in which people can do this and it remains our policy to not take action against anyone for prompting these discussions.”

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Dante’s Tribute to Saint Dominic

Tuesday, August 8, AD 2017








The dame, who was his surety, in her sleep
Beheld the wondrous fruit, that was from him
And from his heirs to issue.  And that such
He might be construed, as indeed he was,
She was inspir’d to name him of his owner,
Whose he was wholly, and so call’d him Dominic.
And I speak of him, as the labourer,
Whom Christ in his own garden chose to be
His help-mate.  Messenger he seem’d, and friend
Fast-knit to Christ; and the first love he show’d,
Was after the first counsel that Christ gave.
Many a time his nurse, at entering found
That he had ris’n in silence, and was prostrate,
As who should say, “My errand was for this.”
O happy father!  Felix rightly nam’d!
O favour’d mother! rightly nam’d Joanna!
If that do mean, as men interpret it.
Not for the world’s sake, for which now they pore
Upon Ostiense and Taddeo’s page,
But for the real manna, soon he grew
Mighty in learning, and did set himself
To go about the vineyard, that soon turns
To wan and wither’d, if not tended well:
And from the see (whose bounty to the just
And needy is gone by, not through its fault,
But his who fills it basely, he besought,
No dispensation for commuted wrong,
Nor the first vacant fortune, nor the tenth),
That to God’s paupers rightly appertain,
But, ‘gainst an erring and degenerate world,
Licence to fight, in favour of that seed,
From which the twice twelve cions gird thee round.
Then, with sage doctrine and good will to help,
Forth on his great apostleship he far’d,
Like torrent bursting from a lofty vein;
And, dashing ‘gainst the stocks of heresy,
Smote fiercest, where resistance was most stout.
Thence many rivulets have since been turn’d,
Over the garden Catholic to lead
Their living waters, and have fed its plants.

Dante, Divine Comedy, Paradiso XII

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4 Responses to Dante’s Tribute to Saint Dominic

  • Dante, Aquinas, Giotto. Three people saying the exact same thing in different ways. I was listening to the Joan of Arc song from 100 years ago thinking about how much we’ve lost as a culture, but how much more have we fallen from the peak of the 13th-14th centuries! We’re blessed to have access to their art and wisdom, though. That’s not a small thing. We can read, and can legally praise Christian saints, and can communicate instantly. Incredible gifts.

  • On his death bed St Dominic reassured his brothers in Christ; “Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life.”

    The Little Flower followed suit as well..

    We have so many beautiful souls in heaven wishing to help us…may we never forget them.
    Including Larry.

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  • We received the rosary thru St. Dominic one of the many blessings he has given us. I believe the Dominicans have a special mission in our times. Please support them.

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4 Responses to PopeWatch: Venezuela Bishops

  • We have a situation developing that reeks of a coming martyrdom…as always, the blood from which is the real mortar that holds the faith together. God and God-loathing tyrants never make beautiful music together since one is always reading the wrong score.

  • Most Holy Virgin, Patroness of America, Our Lady Help of Christians please help our neighbors to the south and protect the United States from agents of destruction who wish to spread the errors of socialism and communism in our nation.

    Bernie Sanders utopia being played out in Venezuela.

    Hillary Clinton’s vision being realized in Venezuela.

    We dodged a bullet last November.

  • We all know regardless of the words that come out of the Vatican what side Jorge Bergoglio stands on – the photo here says it all:


    God save us from these Latin American tin pot dictators, whether in Venezuela or in Rome.

  • I’m a protestant and even I feel the need to echo that prayer.

    May Venezuela be free soon, and their God-given right to live as free men returned to them.

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PopeWatch: Venezuela

Monday, August 7, AD 2017


Events are quickly coming to a head in Venezuela, as Father de Souza at Crux tells us:


The Holy See declared itself on Friday against the brutal regime of Nicolas Maduro, capping an extraordinary few months of masterful maneuvering by the bishops of Venezuela. They have preserved the integrity of the Church’s witness in the face of a tyrant that has starved his people and refused to permit foreign aid to help them.

The statement of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State calls on Maduro to abandon his plans to hold a “constituent assembly” to rewrite the constitution in his favour. It calls again for human rights to be respected, and refers to earlier calls for political prisoners to be released and new elections to be held – which, presumably and hopefully – would lead to the end of Maduro’s regime.

Venezuela has been plunged into a lethal crisis by a communist government that has doubled down on totalitarian measures to tighten its grip on power. The collapse of petro-communism in Venezuela is now more severe than the Great Depression in the United States, or the economic decline of Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

But it’s wrong to blame falling oil prices, which in any case have recently stabilized. There are no other petro-states in which the citizenry is without food or toilet paper, fleeing as refugees without papers because the government no longer has the capacity to print passports.

Venezuela has descended rapidly into starvation poverty because during the boom years the regime of Hugo Chavez ran up record debts to plug the holes in its failed, corrupt economic policies. Now under his successor, Nicolas Maduro, there is nothing left in the exchequer and little new borrowing to be had. The economic catastrophe has undermined the regime’s support, which is why Maduro has resorted to lethal violence, rampant thuggery and totalitarian measures to change the constitution to preserve his hold on power.

In the aftermath of Sunday’s vote for Maduro’s new constituent assembly – boycotted by the opposition – the government seized opposition leaders and continued its killing of protesters in the streets. The Venezuelan bishops stood with the opposition, and with the protesters. Indeed, one extraordinary photo shows Venezuelan priests facing armed government forces in the streets, pleading for them to allow medical care for a young man they had shot. The government forces let him die.

The country’s bishops made clear by name the cause of Venezuela’s agony, tweeting on Sunday a prayer to “free our homeland from the claws of communism and socialism.” It is not a matter of a clumsy bureaucracy, or of squabbling factions, or unfortunate economic shocks; Venezuela has been brought low by a failed ideology.

The Venezuelan Church now stands squarely in solidarity with the opposition and the people in the streets against the Maduro regime. In the weeks ahead, we might hope for something like the happy ending of the People Power revolution of 1986 in the Philippines, when the Filipino Church was at the forefront of the protests that brought down the regime of Ferdinand Marcos.

However matters play out in Venezuela, the leading bishops of the country have ensured that the Church’s witness will not be ambiguous. Even a few months ago, the role of the Church was confusing in Venezuela, with the astonishing phenomenon of Maduro repeatedly insisting that the bishops drop their opposition to him out of obedience to Pope Francis, who called repeatedly for dialogue but would not clearly criticize the Maduro regime, as he did yesterday.

Defenders of the previous papal strategy considered it an attempt to keep the lines of communication open, preserving the capacity of the Church to act as a mediator. Critics of the strategy thought it foolish to call for dialogue as between the predator and his prey, when the only path ahead for Venezuela was for Maduro and his socialist/communist regime to go.

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11 Responses to PopeWatch: Venezuela

  • The typical leftist knows absolutely nothing.

    The main difference between Nazism and socialism is that nobody ever said, “True Nazism has never been tried.”

  • Will Maduro do to Catholic clerics and laity today in Venezuela what Calles did to Catholic clerics and laity in the early 20th century in Mexico?

    And will Jorge Bergoglio respond with something like this?


    Latin American strong men, once they have power, are not known for backing down.

  • I sense a coming Broadway musical, “Don’t Cry For Me Venezuela.”

  • Latin American strong men, once they have power, are not known for backing down.

    No. When the going gets too tough, they get out of Dodge before the posse catches them. One recent one (Manuel Noriega) was ejected by the U.S. military. There haven’t been many since 1970 who lasted more than about a half-dozen years. Anastasio Somoza fils (12 years), Omar Torrijos (12 years), Juan Velasco Alvarado (8 years), Hugo Banzar (7 years), Augusto Pinochet (15 years, left voluntarily according to constitutional procedures), and Alfredo Stroessner (35 years). None of these lasted past 1990. Messrs Fujimori, Chavez, Correa, and Morales were electoral politicians, albeit abusive ones.

  • “Venezuela has descended rapidly into starvation poverty because during
    the boom years the regime of Hugo Chavez ran up record debts to plug
    the holes in its failed, corrupt economic policies.”

    Hugo was plugging holes in a failed, corrupt economic policy he forced
    onto his people– and like most socialist leaders, he was taking good care
    of his own pocketbook at the same time. When he finally did Venezuela
    a good turn and died, Chavez had a personal wealth estimated at $2 billion.
    There’s likely even more squirreled away in secret overseas accounts. His
    daughter Maria Gabriela is widely acknowledged to be the wealthiest
    person in Venezuela today, with a fortune of about $4.2 billion. She has
    holed up in the presidential palace, and refuses to move out. A large part
    of her fortune came from cornering the market on importation of rice– a
    staple of the diet of Venezuela’s people– and promptly hiking the price
    80%. In Venezuela, she’s contemptuously referred to as “Reina del Arroz”.

    I very much doubt that today’s ordinary Venezuelans have any more illusions
    about either the true nature of socialism or the left’s supposed concern for
    the poor. Would that this Pope would also look and learn.

  • Art Deco wrote, “No. When the going gets too tough, they get out of Dodge before the posse catches them.”

    Response: where’s the posse for the Latin American strong man occupying the See of St. Peter?

    Sorry, I can’t help myself, Art. Rhetorical question only. But yes, you have a valid point. These Caudillos as T. Shaw describes them are bullies at heart and bullies are usually cowards – they can’t face the music when it comes their way.

  • Gee, the Holy Father and the Holy See finally declared itself against the Venezuelan regime. It only took about 4 years.

    But they were very quick to be against the Trump regime.

    Idiots, everywhere idiots.

  • “The Holy See declared itself on Friday against the brutal regime of Nicolas Maduro, capping an extraordinary few months of masterful maneuvering by the bishops of Venezuela. They have preserved the integrity of the Church’s witness in the face of a tyrant that has starved his people and refused to permit foreign aid to help them.”

    This is what it takes for Pope Francis to change his mind: thousands dead, mass starvation, pleading by his Bishops, murderous dictator. In part the blood of this situation is on Pope Francis hands. The Pope of mercy no less!

  • There’s a whole lot of ruin in the world and ordinarily I wouldn’t expect Francis to comment on much of it explicitly. What a traditionalist priest told me a dozen years ago is, I suspect, true: the Pope shouldn’t say too much. The task of elucidating doctrinal or moral points should be enough to consume his public utterances. What you notice though, is that this Pope yaps about everything and makes ill-judged utterances routinely. You notice when he doesn’t say something.

    One might hope that Venezuela’s decision-making element and it’s populace will productively reflect on the experience of the last five decades and draw salutary conclusions (once the atrocious Maduro is out of the way).

  • These Caudillos as T. Shaw describes them are bullies at heart and bullies are usually cowards – they can’t face the music when it comes their way.

    If you review the list above, you’ll notice that none of the military men appeared on the scene after 1973 (and Pinochet acted only consequent to extreme provocation and engineered a salutary restructuring of Chile’s political economy). As for the electoral politicians on the list, Maduro and Morales are the only one’s remaining. Morales’ background is in commercial agriculture, and that knowledge base seems to constrain him from the worst sort of economic atrocities.

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Sunday, August 6, AD 2017

This event I believe occurred at the Fourth Moscow Conference in 1944:


In 1944, at a time when the Soviet Union bore the brunt of the struggle against Nazi Germany, it was important to convince Stalin that the Western democracies accepted him as an equal. “‘In the world of the future, for which our soldiers have shed their blood on countless fronts”, the British Prime Minister said in his bombastic style, “our three great democracies will demonstrate to all mankind that they, both in wartime and in peacetime, will remain true to the high principles of freedom, dignity, and happiness of the people. That’s why I attach such paramount importance to good neighbourly relations between a restored Poland and the Soviet Union. It was for the freedom and independence of Poland that Britain went into this war. The British feel a sense of moral responsibility to the Polish people, to their spiritual values. It’s also important that Poland is a Catholic country. We can’t allow internal developments there to complicate our relations with the Vatican…”

“How many divisions does the Pope of Rome have?” Stalin asked, suddenly interrupting Churchill’s line of reasoning.

Valentin Berezhkov, Stalin’s interpreter, in his memoirs recounted this.


The response of Pius XII I have been unable to source as to time and place, but it has become immortal:  “You can tell my son Joseph that he will meet my divisions in heaven.”

The divisions that Stalin put so much faith in are as dead and buried now as he is, as is his Communist State that lasted merely one long life time.  Dictators come and go, Christ remains.

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  • Back in 1989, I usually picked up a copy of the Reverend Moon’s Washington Times as I could not stomach the Compost. I saved an editorial cartoon portraying the Polish people erecting a statue of Milton Friedman, while nearby a Stalin statue lay on the ground in pieces. Next to the pieces was an old lady with a babushka who gave the statue pieces an unceremonious salute of “BAH”.

    The little old ladies who came to Mass every Sunday, or every day, and prayed the Rosary had more power than Stalin did in the end.

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Pope Leo the Great on The Transfiguration

Sunday, August 6, AD 2017



The Gospel lesson, dearly-beloved, which has reached the inner hearing of our minds through our bodily ears, calls us to the understanding of a great mystery, to which we shall by the help of God’s grace the better attain, if we turn our attention to what is narrated just before.

The Saviour of mankind, Jesus Christ, in founding that faith, which recalls the wicked to righteousness and the dead to life, used to instruct His disciples by admonitory teaching and by miraculous acts to the end that He, the Christ, might be believed to be at once the Only-begotten of God and the Son of Man. For the one without the other was of no avail to salvation, and it was equally dangerous to have believed the Lord Jesus Christ to be either only God without manhood, or only man without Godhead , since both had equally to be confessed, because just as true manhood existed in His Godhead, so true Godhead existed in His Manhood. To strengthen, therefore, their most wholesome knowledge of this belief, the Lord had asked His disciples, among the various opinions of others, what they themselves believed, or thought about Him: whereat the Apostle Peter, by the revelation of the most High Father passing beyond things corporeal and surmounting things human by the eyes of his mind, saw Him to be Son of the living God, and acknowledged the glory of the Godhead, because he looked not at the substance of His flesh and blood alone; and with this lofty faith Christ was so well pleased that he received the fullness of blessing, and was endued with the holy firmness of the inviolable Rock on which the Church should be built and conquer the gates of hell and the laws of death, so that, in loosing or binding the petitions of any whatsoever, only that should be ratified in heaven which had been settled by the judgment of Peter.

But this exalted and highly-praised understanding, dearly-beloved, had also to be instructed on the mystery of Christ’s lower substance, lest the Apostle’s faith, being raised to the glory of confessing the Deity in Christ, should deem the reception of our weakness unworthy of the impassible God, and incongruous, and should believe the human nature to be so glorified in Him as to be incapable of suffering punishment, or being dissolved in death. And, therefore, when the Lord said that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and scribes and chief of the priests, and the third day rise again, the blessed Peter who, being illumined with light from above, was burning with the heat of his confession, rejected their mocking insults and the disgrace of the most cruel death, with, as he thought, a loyal and outspoken contempt, but was checked by a kindly rebuke from Jesus and animated with the desire to share His suffering. For the Saviour’s exhortation that followed, instilled and taught this, that they who wished to follow Him should deny themselves, and count the loss of temporal things as light in the hope of things eternal; because he alone could save his soul that did not fear to lose it for Christ. In order, therefore, that the Apostles might entertain this happy, constant courage with their whole heart, and have no tremblings about the harshness of taking up the cross, and that they might not be ashamed of the punishment of Christ, nor think what He endured disgraceful for themselves (for the bitterness of suffering was to be displayed without despite to His glorious power), Jesus took Peter and James and his brother John, and ascending a very high mountain with them apart, showed them the brightness of His glory; because, although they had recognised the majesty of God in Him, yet the power of His body, wherein His Deity was contained, they did not know. And, therefore, rightly and significantly, had He promised that certain of the disciples standing by should not taste death till they saw “the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom ,” that is, in the kingly brilliance which, as specially belonging to the nature of His assumed Manhood, He wished to be conspicuous to these three men. For the unspeakable and unapproachable vision of the Godhead Itself which is reserved till eternal life for the pure in heart, they could in no wise look upon and see while still surrounded with mortal flesh. The Lord displays His glory, therefore, before chosen witnesses, and invests that bodily shape which He shared with others with such splendour, that His face was like the sun’s brightness and His garments equalled the whiteness of snow.

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3 Responses to Pope Leo the Great on The Transfiguration

  • The purpose the Transfiguration was to strengthen the faith of Peter, James and John at a time it was to be sorely tried. In our time we need a similar strength of faith as we confront the faith destroying figure of Pope Francis.

  • The introduction of the Luminous Mysteries fits perfectly into this era. This culture so in need of leadership that God himself is reminding all that his is the Way the Truth and the Life. His leadership is perfect. Not his poor failing representative, but He Himself will lead the flock.

    The Father and Holy Spirit present at the Baptism and Transfiguration as eye witness accounts testify to the events.
    The luminous mysteries are to strengthen our faith also. Reminding us all to listen. To believe. To be co-workers with Christ as this era is filled with those who do not adore, do not worship and do not believe.
    The Baptism and Transfiguration are great “bookends” as our priest Fr. Libby exclaimed yesterday. The start of our ministry.. baptism ..our forty days in the desert, temptations and trials..our life on earth. The reality of heaven. The instruction from Our Father to listen to Him!

    I love our faith.
    Our Holy Catholic Church.
    God is our leadership.
    His voice we hear…harden not your hearts dear American Catholic.
    Please pray for this pontificate.
    Pray for conversion.
    His and ours.

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Joan of Arc, They Are Calling You

Saturday, August 5, AD 2017

I commend you to God; may God watch over you and grant you grace so that you can maintain the good cause of the Kingdom of France.

Joan of Arc



Something for the weekend.  Joan of Arc, They Are Calling You.  A hit song a hundred years ago in the US.  Music by Jack Wells and lyrics by Al Bryan and Willie Weston.  Although the Maid of Orleans would not be canonized until 1920, the French had regarded her as a saint since her death.  In World War I French soldiers would usually have an image of Joan of Arc on them as they went into battle in a War most of them regarded as a Crusade to save France.

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3 Responses to Joan of Arc, They Are Calling You

  • St. Joan of Arc pray for us.

  • “[T]he French had regarded her as a saint since her death…”

    And not only the French. As the Scottish historian, Andrew Lang recounts, “It is said by some who were present, that even the English Cardinal, Beaufort, wept when he saw the Maid die: “crocodiles’ tears!” One of the secretaries of Henry VI. (who himself was only a little boy) said, “We are all lost. We have burned a Saint!”

    They were all lost. The curse of their cruelty did not depart from them. Driven by the French and Scots from province to province, and from town to town, the English returned home, tore and rent each other; murdering their princes and nobles on the scaffold, and slaying them as prisoners of war on the field; and stabbing and smothering them in chambers of the Tower; York and Lancaster devouring each other; the mad Henry VI. was driven from home to wander by the waves at St. Andrews, before he wandered back to England and the dagger stroke—these things were the reward the English won, after they had burned a Saint. They ate the bread and drank the cup of their own greed and cruelty all through the Wars of the Roses. They brought shame upon their name which Time can never wash away; they did the Devil’s work, and took the Devil’s wages. Soon Henry VIII. was butchering his wives and burning Catholics and Protestants, now one, now the other, as the humour seized him.”

  • Her trial was an evil travesty, and her execution hard to contemplate. God will judge us each alone but I wonder if the judgment of nations is sometimes collective.

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PopeWatch: Beanies

Saturday, August 5, AD 2017



From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:


It was announced today that the Swiss Guard’s uniform will be changed to a more modern hipster look.

Pontifical Swiss Guard Commandant Daniel Anrig told Guards gathered at the annual When Do We Get To See Some Action Jamboree that the traditional “uniform” worn by the Knights will be replaced so as to be more appealing to millennials.

Instead of the well-known European Renaissance-style uniform, the average member of the Swiss Guard will be wearing a pair of skinny jeans, a beanie, and a leather jacket “no matter how hot the temperature gets in Rome,” Anrig said. Anrig did not specify whether swords would be replaced with scarfs or whether they would be replaced with pens in case “the muse strikes and gives them the inspiration to write the next Infinite Jest.”

“I have decided that the time is right for a modernization of the Swiss Guard Uniform,” Anrig said. “From now on, along with skinny jeans, beanies, and leather jackets, the preferred dress for the Guard will include v-necks or flannel shirts, vintage sneakers, bow ties, and black squared frames for glasses whether Guards wear prescription glasses or not.”

Swiss Guard David Adank told EOTT via a shrug of the shoulders this morning that, though a little bit nervous and hesitant about the change, he welcomes it with open, sarcastic arms.

“Whatever,” Adank went on to say before departing to an undisclosed coffee shop.

Another member of the Swiss Guard, Toby Caspari, told EOTT that he was worried that he would be expelled from the Guard since he struggles growing a proper mustache.

“I guess it’s the mandatory mustache that I’m most afraid of,” Caspari said. “I’ve never really been able to grow one, and all everyone’s talking about is what type of “stache wax” to use. Whatever, maybe I’ll use a fake. I trust the commandant’s judgment. I think skinny jeans really helps to show a striking, imitative image of Christ because he was kind of a hipster in his own way. He too didn’t care what people thought. But at the same time, he wanted people to notice him, but at the same time not notice him, if you know what I’m saying. You know what I’m saying?

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4 Responses to PopeWatch: Beanies

  • “…a leather jacket…”
    I misread that as “a feather jacket” and before I could chastise myself…I decided I was merely ahead of the next update.

  • This is EOTT satire after the recent news announcement of the K of C changing their 4th degree uniforms to look more like UN soldiers:


    I responded to the announcement of this change with the following venting of the spleen on Facebook:

    The US Navy tried this crap. Major changes to the enlisted sailor uniform uniform took place in 1973. There was a movement to have enlisted uniforms appear more “distinguished” and “modern.” The traditional uniform of bell bottoms, neckerchief and dixie cup hat were replaced with suits and ties and a police officer style hat that were more in line with CPO and officer regulations. The idea was to present the modern Navy as a unified force, but these changes were NOT taken well and were largely reversed by 1980. Today the enlisted sailor wears much what he did during WW II – bell bottoms, neckerchief and dixie cup.

    Yes, a great many bad ideas we see in industry or the Church the US Navy has tried to implement at one time or another, in one way or another and it has abysmally failed, sometimes spectacularly. Rule of thumb: if it’s a bad idea, then the Navy already tried it. The change in uniform to modernize back in 73 is one example. Today’s allowing women on submarines (analogy – deaconettes and priestesses) is another and that innovation will eventually blow up in the Navy’s face (think about it – a women gets pregnant on a 3 month undersea voyage and her fetus is next to a live reactor core – utterly stupid). Another example is a bit more technical and related to my field of nuclear power.

    The Navy wanted to get rid of the expense and maintenance of control rod drive mechanisms for nuclear reactors. So it built a reactor in Ballston Spa, NY called MARF without control rods (think barf, though the acronym stands for Modifications and Additions to a Reactor Facility!). Instead of neutron absorbing control rods, the reactor had gadolinium tubes in the core that would fill with water to make the gadolinium absorb neutrons and empty to allow neutrons to cause fission in uranium and make heat (and hence steam via the steam generators for the turbines). Damn thing was difficult as hell to bring critical – even slight water level changes in the tubes made wild reactivity swings. Bad. Very bad. The freaking piece of junk was thankfully never installed on any ship or submarine, though it still runs today (less than 20% of the time if that) for materials testing. Can you imagine doing angles and dangles on submarine maneuvers at a 1000 ft depth and having the reactor first shutdown and then go screaming into the power range uncontrollably all because water level in the tubes sloshes around? Another dumb a$$ idea the Navy wisely $h1t canned.

    Well the story doesn’t stop there. Some commercial reactor designers today who want to be known innovative and at the ever piercing tip of the vanguard of pioneering advancement would likewise want to get rid of control rods in their designs and use just soluble neutron poison in the reactor coolant to control core reactivity. The Navy already tried getting rid of control rods and it doesn’t freaking work! Yes, albeit for different reasons that I won’t specify here, but I was a reactor operator (RO) and any RO worth his sea salt (especially he who stood watch at MARF in Ballston Spa) damn well knows it won’t work.

    There is a reason for tradition. Sometimes solutions to the problems we have were already worked out by people smarter than us long ago.

  • Well, putting women on surface ships blew up in the Navy’s face when they started putting women on auxiliary ships like destroyer and submarine tenders. Instead of learning their lesson from that disaster, the Navy just built a bigger bomb by putting women on combatant ships.

    To be sure, there are women who served well aboard ship, but I have spent enough time (five and a half years to be exact) serving aboard Navy ships to know that it is no place for a woman. Apparently, many women agree seeing as how many of them would deliberately get pregnant to get transferred to shore duty.

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A Coastal Party

Friday, August 4, AD 2017


With the West Virginia Governor switching parties to Republican from Democrat, the Republicans control the state legislatures and the statehouses in 26 states.  The Democrats control the state legislatures and statehouses in 5 states.  (The Connecticut Senate is evenly divided.)  The Republicans have 35 governorships, and the Democrats now have fifteen governorships.  Republicans control the legislature in 32 states to 18 for the Democrats.  The Republicans control 67 of the 98 state legislative chambers.  (Nebraska has a unicameral state legislature which is officially nonpartisan, but which is heavily controlled by Republican nonpartisans.)  Political success often is ephemeral in the US, but the big political story thus far in this country in the twenty-first century is the collapse of the Democrat party on the state level, rendering it largely a coastal party.

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13 Responses to A Coastal Party

  • The Democrat Party is devoid of ideas,
    Sound philosophical strategies or any means to effectively govern. Open hostility to Christianity, public embrace of perversion, hatred of the Middle class, exploitation of poor people by getting them addicted to a government check and an arrogance that disallows any critical thinking….. this is the Democrat Party. When they win elections outside of the coasts it is almost always due to Republican stupidity.
    There are exceptions, of course. Cities almost everywhere are controlled by the Evil Party, or as I refer to them, The Party of Organized Crime. A really tough minded Attorney General could clobber the Organized Crime Party with RICO.

  • 26 June 2017: Kurt Schlichter: “Look Democrats, you’re doing great. After a half year of Trump and several special election moral victories – which are the best kind of victories – America is digging your vibe. Everyone loves the Democrats and their can-do message of opposition to Trump, entitlement to our money, resistance to Trump, demands for even more of our money, and dog-whistlin’ about murdering Trump and anyone else who doesn’t hate Trump or want to give Democrats our money.”

    Truth is hate. America’s dirt-bag left pathology in one sentence from Bookworm Room.. “Remarkable, really, that a group of people who measure intellect by knowing who Buzz Lightyear is and who trade in personal insults as a form of political commentary, think that they’re America’s ‘elite.’”

  • I’m not one to confuse the GOP with the Church, but it does seem as though the Democrats’ main strategy is to divide people up into as many demographics that hate each other as possible. All the while convincing people that while God has His qualities, it’s only through The State that healing and righteousness can occur. For some reason, people along the coasts seem to buy into that more than everyone else. I wonder if the same is true in other countries in the West.

  • Over the past twenty-five years, I have come to view the Democratic Party as incompatible with Catholicism. Perhaps some can reconcile the two, I cannot.

  • I think there’s a residual element in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and perhaps Michigan which is congenial to the Church as the Church. The Democratic Party’s line is incompatible with the abiding moral teachings of the Church and those teachings as they would have been understood in 1958. It’s not incompatible with most instances of everyday parish Catholicism. I’d wager 30% of the priest corps votes Democratic as a matter of course.

    The thing is, the Democratic Party is the electoral vehicle of the word-merchant element. The Church, or what’s left of it, is a standing rebuke to that element’s pretension. The pretense has been that their cadres are the proper allocators of status and recognition contra vernacular opinion and contra tradition and received orthodoxy. The legal profession, the mental health trade, higher education, and the media and entertainment business all have a rather fanciful conception of their own value. The Republican Party is largely run by mediocre men who have haphazard and confused responses to these challenges. When one of these Republican state legislatures shuts down a corrupt state college or withholds appropriations to a bad appellate court, I’ll be more impressed.

  • So why does it feel like the Democrats control everything worth controlling?

  • Because of Democrat control of most of the media. The “reality based” community is good at producing illusions. The problem for them is that too many leftists have swallowed the Koolaid and ignore the fact that they have begun a journey into what might be a very long and dense political wilderness. Additionally, too many conservatives are born pessimists, an affliction I, God be praised, have never shared.

  • Would to God I were more like you, Donald.

  • Additionally, too many conservatives are born pessimists, an affliction I, God be praised, have never shared.

    Well, the Republican congressional caucus, especially Addison Mitchell McConnell, has been behaving according to type, so I’m not expecting any accomplishments over the next four years. We’re all on a wild ride with Mr. Trump. I’d much rather one of the conventional Republicans had been able to establish a rapport with the electorate (instead of listening to their donors, political professionals, and the media). We’d have less drama and we might be able to get some serious border security past the Democratic Party of Rackets and the gelatinous mass of Lindsey Graham.

  • The Trump administration is still early Art. Let’s wait and see.

  • The Trump administration is still early Art. Let’s wait and see.

    I’m a fat middle-aged man. I don’t have much choice but to do that. I’m rooting for Trump re a selection of his objects, but not expecting much. The country has been, for 40-odd years, in this policy equilibrium which no one can seem to alter but with which everyone seems discontented. Mr. Reagan had a number of successes, but these were mostly in the realm of matters you could address administratively. (There were two pieces of tax legislation which had salutary features).

  • Yet another area that the Democratic Party has never connected with the ordinary person was their latent but persistent effort to invalidate the Second Amendment and the effort to dispossess the common man of his right to self-protection. People do get the implicit threat that the Democrats represent to their safety — along with their insatiable drive for absolute power.

    Even here in California, where to purchase a legal firearm it is almost easier to qualify for the next NASA space shot, during the waning days of the Hillary campaign up to the November election, if you went into Bass Pro Shop, the lines to purchase a firearm were virtually out the door.

    And in the rest of the country I frequent, which is Utah and Arizona and sometimes Idaho and Wyoming, you can imagine how bitterly hostile people are to Democrats on this matter.

    And they just don’t get it.

  • As the temperature of the water around them continues to rise, the frogs take comfort in the elections they have won. Of course they would not want to turn back the clock to an hour ago, when the temperature was 140 degrees Fahrenheit; they only want to hold to the current temperature of 160 degrees, or at least to slow down the rate at which the temperature is increasing so they have more time to adapt. This is what they have been doing since the heat was first applied, and it is what they will go on doing until they are boiled alive, all because they dare not be so gauche as to seriously address the real problem.

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Requiescat In Pace: Robert Hardy

Friday, August 4, AD 2017

As the war raged on I studied English at Oxford University, but my education was interrupted by my joining the RAF to train as a pilot. It was there that I got to meet Richard Burton – a navigator in the RAF – who would become so great a friend.

In 1949 I embarked on a career as an actor, and I was with Richard when I met Churchill for a second time in the early 1950s. We were appearing in Hamlet together at the Old Vic, with Richard as the Prince of Denmark. We knew Winston, who at this time was once again Prime Minister, was in the audience – he was unmissable sitting in the front row. 

After the performance we were in Richard’s dressing room when the mighty man burst in, cigar in hand, and, addressing Richard as if he was still in character, said, ‘Your Highness, I am in great need – do have you a lavatory?’

When he came out he complemented Richard on his ‘very forthright Hamlet’ before adding, ‘I’m astonished that such a man should wait so long to avenge his father!’ Needless to say, Richard and I dined out on that for weeks to come.

Robert Hardy

Sad news.  British actor Robert Hardy has died at 91.  Far too young for such a delightful man and talented actor.  At Oxford he studied English under CS Lewis and JRR Tokien, and he ever cherished that opportunity that fate handed him.  He became one of the foremost authorities on the English longbow.  (I have a book in my library that he wrote on the history of the longbow.)  He spoke and wrote in a most pellucid English, no doubt a tribute to his instruction from Lewis and Tolkien.  He of course is remembered for his acting.  To the younger generation he is Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic in the Harry Potter films.  Some may recall him as irascible, but good-hearted, veterinary Siegfried Farnon in the television series All Creatures Great and Small.  To me he will always be the definitive film Winston Churchill, a role that he played nine times. His longest portrayal was in the eight part miniseries The Wilderness Years, broadcast in the eighties, which may be found on You Tube.  Hail and farewell Mr. Hardy, may you have a joyous reunion with your two favorite professors in the world to come.

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2 Responses to Requiescat In Pace: Robert Hardy

  • He hosted a series called “Castle Ghosts”. I think they aired on TLC (that’s back when it was actually ‘The Learning Channel’). We watched those every Halloween. Plenty of atmosphere, Hardy did a brilliant job narrating, and it was filled with good old traditional chills and spooks to keep the kids shivering. His delivery was so believable you’d think he was a reporter investigating the latest car models for the upcoming year. He will be missed.

  • Loved his interpretation of Sigfried. The character was based on Afred Wight (aka “James Herriot’)’s partner, Donald Sinclair. Supposedly, the Wight character interpreted by Hardy was more predictable and tranquil than the original. (He wasn’t ‘irascible’, he was florid. The irascible characters were the farmers who were their clients).

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PopeWatch: Sheer Incompetence

Friday, August 4, AD 2017



George Weigel at The Catholic Report notes that the powers that be at the Vatican are not noted for their competence:


On occasion, however, that can be a journey through the looking glass and into Wonderland.

Last month, Civilta Cattolicà featured an article co-authored by its editor-in-chief, Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, and Pastor Marcelo Figueroa, who edits the Argentine edition of L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper. The article purported to analyze a startling “ecumenism of hate” in the United States, forged by ultra-conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants, and creepy-dangerous for its indulgence in a new Manicheanism that distorts the Gospel and divides everything in the world into rigid and narrowly-defined categories of good and evil. This bizarre screed generated weeks of controversy in the blogosphere, during which Father Spadaro tweeted that the article’s critics were “haters” whose vitriol confirmed the article’s hypothesis – a Trumpian outburst ill-becoming a paladin of “dialogue.”

My friends and colleagues R.R. Reno, Robert Royal, and Fr. Raymond de Souza have ably replied to the comprehensive inanities of the Spadaro/Figueroa article: its ill-informed misrepresentation of American religious history; its surreal descriptions of 21st-century American Catholicism and evangelical Protestantism; its obsessions with marginal figures in contemporary American religious life like R.J. Rushdoony and Michael Voris; its misreading of the dynamics of religiously-informed public moral argument in American politics; and its weird description of the premises of current Vatican diplomacy, which will give comfort to the likes of Vladimir Putin, Raul Castro, and Nicolas Maduro. Those who care to sift through this intellectual dumpster can consult Dr. Reno’s article, Dr. Royal’s, and Fr. De Souza’s. The questions I’d like to raise here involve Civilta Cattolicà’s relationship to its putative overseers in the Vatican Secretariat of State.

What kind of vetting did this misbegotten article get? Were any knowledgeable experts on U.S. Catholicism or American evangelical Protestantism  consulted on what the overseers must have known would be an incendiary piece? Does the Spadaro/Figueroa article really represent the views of the Secretariat of State about today’s debates at the intersection of religion and politics in the United States? If the answer to the last is “Yes,” then what does the Secretariat of State make of the American situation as described by the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christoph Pierre, in his addresses to the U.S. bishops – a description that bears no resemblance to the wasteland of madcap pseudo-theology and hatred described by Spadaro and Figueroa? If the answer is “No,” then why was the Spadaro/Figueroa article cleared for publication?

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8 Responses to PopeWatch: Sheer Incompetence

  • Now why in the world would the authors of that article consult experts on anything American? Does anyone really think Spadoro and Figueroa give a damn about accuracy or facts? For anyone who does think that, boy have I got a deal for you on oceanfront property in Kansas.

    No, Francis is not known for his intellect. But you normally need at least one doctorate to be able to reach the level of ridiculousness Pope Francis does on a regular basis. And he has what, maybe a graduate degree at best?

  • LQC puts it best. Papa Bergoglio is a Peronist Marxist devoid of an intellect capable of critical thinking. Cardinal Burke was one of the authors of the Dubia. Cardinal Wuerl despises Cardinal Burke and Papa Bergoglio listens to Wuerl when he wants to.

  • Dividing everything into rigid categories of “good and evil” is now bad. Pope Francis eschews publically–those who see things in black and white, while JPII instructs us to call black, black, white, white, and to call sin, sin. It is the later category that bothers those who prefer the flexibility of the diabolical world of relativistic greys.

  • Except for the idiom, it read like sorsophere talking points. Frankenchurch is an entity suffering from injelitence. Peter’s Pence goes to the maintenance of displays of the Peter Principle.

  • Manicheanism is wrong, but not because it makes a clear distinction between good and evil, but rather because it casts individuals as purely good or evil, effectively casting all human disputes as cosmic confrontations pure and faultless angels against wholly reprobate demons.

    But it is unambiguously the Left that does this, casting anyone who doesn’t fit perfectly into their increasingly tiny misshapen mold as a “Nazi,” “racist,” “white nationalist,” “homophobe,” etc. And this has always been the case with the Left, which always divides people into groups of virtuous and faultless “victims” and their unremittingly evil “oppressors” who must be cast down.

    “Father” Spadaro engaged in this Manicheanism himself, even while accusing others of it, by dismissing all of his critics out of hand as nothing more than “haters,” who allegedly driven by nothing more than pure unreasoning malice as they are, don’t even need to be debated or to have their arguments addressed.

  • ” Don’t blame the minions and ignore their master.” Good point Donald for George Weigel to note. It would appear George needs a reality check (courage) in his evident inability (fear?) to describe who Pope Francis really is.

  • Amen to that, Michael Dowd. Weigel is probably afraid to offend the neo-cons who write his paychecks. It is beyond me how anyone who is actually paying attention (admittedly a very small minority) could fail to see the truth here.

  • Weigel is probably afraid to offend the neo-cons who write his paychecks.

    Or, maybe he just writes what he thinks. Pretty silly to imagine he’s controlled by the ghost of Irving Kristol.

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